Welsh Tales of Tragedy – Part 2

Welsh Tales of Tragedy – Part 2

Ynyslas Shores

Unlike many tales of the past that revolve around a single person or building this tale covers that of an entire kingdom. Though it goes by many names The Lowland Hundred or the Plain of Gwyddno is today renowned as a story that centers on the Welsh equivalent of Atlantis. This legendary kingdom is told to have had rich lands that once stretched 20 miles out from the current lands that now end at cardigan bay. This entire kingdom is referenced in several places including Black Book of Carmarthen which serves as a codex for all things in existence in Wales at the time. The story itself has variations as of course there is no one around to back up the exact claims. On the whole it tells of a cluster of villages that sat on lowlands, where a dyke and some floodgates would keep out the threatening waters of the sea. However, the two Princes who governed the land were irresponsible, one of which was often drunk. One story tells that during a celebration the Prince had too much ale and through a series of erroneous acts attended poorly to the man-made defenses and allowed the flood to take place. Another version tells of the fault of a maiden of a well, who was in charge of emptying the rising waters neglected her task, thus causing the flood. Regardless of the reason it stands that the 15+ villages that once sat on the land were instantaneous sunken along with everyone of its residents. Though many skeptics take the story as pure myth, visitors can make their way to Ynyslas, north of the town Borth where a low tide reveals a remarkable secret – submerged tree stumps of somewhere down below that may elude to the resting places of many unfortunate souls.

Gelert’s Grave

In one of the most famed stories of Welsh history and mythology is the tragic tale of Gelert. Llywelyn the Great, Prince of Gwynedd received a gift from King John of England in the form of a dog. This faithful hound was a beloved member of the family and showed obedience and care especially for his baby son Dafydd. One day the Prince went hunting oddly without his faithful dog who was usually around to join him, he returned to the house to stumble upon a horrific scene. There had clearly been some sort of disturbance, clothes and sheets were scattered and covered with crimson, the baby boy was missing, while the dog, Gelert, stood proud with his mouth blood stained. Distraught at its murderous actions Llywelyn unsheathed his sword and struck a killing blow to the hound. Only moments later he heard the sound of his son. Hidden out of sight was his Daffyd, alive and well though beside him was the body of a wolf which Gelert had clearly killed while defending the baby. Realising his error, the prince was overcome with distraught for his loyal companion who in his last moments had saved his sons life, not threatened it. He is said never to have smiled again. Today the grave of Gelert can be visited, with the headstone telling all who pass the sorrowful tale. The town it lies in is called Beddgelert, which is said to be tribute to the legendary protector.